Deconstructed “Unstuffed” Cabbage

     As I look at the recipe title I realize it’s a bit douchy, and pretentious, but don’t let that stop you from trying it.  I came up with this idea because I wanted stuffed cabbage one cold day, but didn’t feel up to the whole idea of boiling, peeling, and wrapping the cabbage rolls, or “Golumpkis” as my Polish/Irish Mom insisted we call them.  Rest her beautiful soul.

     Then I thought about how I am breaking all the family “rules” which is what we referred to recipes as in my house as a child, because I had been taught to adhere to and never deviate from these “rules” when we created recipes in my family.  Rules and recipes were synonymous in my house, and I loved hearing that Farmhouse Rules, one of my favorite Food Network shows, refers to their family recipes this way as well.  But being the naughty girl rebel that I am…ok it sounded good anyways, I suspected that making the deconstructed version would proabaly taste pretty good if not better, and you know what?   It does in my opinion, and this my friends, is a keeper!

     But I digress, cabbage, I began roasting cabbage in my oven several years ago, while making corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.  I despise traditional, tasteless boiled corned beef and cabbage  There I said it.. Flavorless.  In comes roasting cabbage, along with baking corned beef in foil, and voila!  A meal worth consuming.  Yummy goodness. Yes, this is just my opinion, so feel free to boil away!

     Roasting cabbage with salt, pepper, on a sheet pan with a little bit of olive oil, makes the cabbage carmelized and oh so delish!  So you see where this is going?  Stay with me it gets better.  So now you have the sultry, sexy, sliced cabbage roasting.  I  then make the red gravy (sauce) that will be the base for keeping this classic, plop a boil in bag of white or brown rice in the microwave, (traditionally white rice is favored in cabbage rolls, but brown is a healthier option), grab a pound of meatloaf mix, while I dice some onions,  grab some spices that define this dish, and I’m telling you, you will not miss the rolled up cabbage! Try it for yourself and see.


Susan xoxo

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A simplified version of a Polish Classic, that's quick, easy, and oh some satisfying!



  • -one small onion finely diced
  • -one large or two small heads of cabbage finely sliced and cored
  • -one 32 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • -6 tablespoons of butter
  • -1 lb. of meatloaf mix (beef, pork, and veal)
  • -1 egg
  • -package of boil in bag white or brown (cooked as per directions)
  • -dried herbs (tsp. of each) rosemary, thyme, and basil
  • -3 tablespoons of all purpose unbleached flour
  • -salt and pepper to taste
  • -splash of apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a sheet pan arrange cabbage slices. Season with salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for appx. 20-25 min or until carmelized and soft, making sure to check periodically and move them around the sheet pan.

Meanwhile in a large sauce pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on medium high heat.  When melted add two tablespoons of flour to make a roux, whisking to incorporate and cook the flour. Do not let get dark.  Add crushed tomatoes, and tsp. of herbs to sauce, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Why the vinegar you ask?  In traditional Polish Golumpkis,  I have seen the addition of apple cider vinegar in the gravy, so keeping with tradition somewhat, also I think it cuts the acid in the tomatoes a bit, which is why they probably added it in the first place.  Let simmer for 15. min.  Add rice to a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cook.  Let cook about 11 min. or until done.  Let cool slightly. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a separate bowl, mix meatloaf mix with onions, cooled rice, some more basil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, slightly beaten egg.  Make meatballs and set aside.  Take cabbage out of oven.  Arrange slices on the bottom of a large  baking dish.  Add meatballs to top of cabbage.  Top with sauce, making sure to coat all the meat and cabbage with sauce.   I like to dot the top of the gravy with about a tablespoon and a half of unsalted butter.  The taste is sublime and adds a richness to the dish. Cover with foil, baking for 45 min.   Let cool  for 5 min. and devour!









3 Comments Add yours

  1. claudine1971 says:

    Its so funny…because I make stuffed cabbage the same way!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just love it this way! I don’t miss the cabbage rolls!


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